I note the following variously expressed views in your 10 December issue: i) the impact of some research is more obvious to gauge or imagine than others; ii) most research is likely to have an impact of some kind and at some (not necessarily definable) point; iii) the research excellence framework will "continue to support research of all kinds", with the Higher Education Funding Council for England not intending to support "only research for which impact can be predicted".
It seems to me that the greatest impact will be experienced by researchers who will have to spend even more of their valuable time and energy filling in forms. So a wholehearted "hear! hear!" to Tim Birkhead's proposals ("More contact? When?", 10 December): simplify funding applications and the impact all round would be (dare I say it?) immeasurable.
Gillian Ania, University of Salford.